1. Lecture Notes a. 1/18/17 i. Critical Thinking 1. Crucial for citizens in democracy 2. Most of what we hear in the political world persuades you. 3. We have little choice. 4. Big ideas are inherited while adding support. 5. Objective: be more independent and critical in our own political values ii. 3 Core Principles of Politics 1. Justice a. What is right? 2. OrIf you want to learn more check out horws
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der a. How to/how much structure in society? 3. Power a. Who, how much, how to get it? iii. Governance is about Rules 1. How people ought to live must be decided by someone. 2. 3 Principles point out ideas 3. Politics is about making rules and structuring society. iv. Worldviews 1. Values: What we believe and hold dear 2. Interests: What benefits us? v. Competition as the basic fact of politics 1. We are always struggling. 2. People are different 3. We all want to benefit ourselves and want our values reflected in society. 4. Divisive a. We divide from other Americans. b. We may see those who disagree as enemies. 5. Beware the Ideologue a. Zealous supporter of an ideology b. Ignores all aspects of reality that do not fit with ideology b. 1/20/17 i. Two ways to view politics 1. Idealism (potential) a. Emphasizes utopian visionb. Emphasizes potential in politics 2. Realism a. Skeptical of utopias b. Emphasizes limits of politics ii. Ideology 1. Simplified visions of the good life encompassing ideals, beliefs, and attitudes 2. Answer questions about justice, order, power 3. One person’s ideal may be another’s nightmare 4. Purpose is to gain support for a political agenda a. How? Draws on beliefs already present in societies iii. Elites vs Mass Relationships to ideology 1. Elite: those with social, political, and economic influence a. Leaders b. Seek to rule or shape rules to reflect their vision 2. Masses: ordinary folks whose role is to support or at least not resist a political system. a. Followers b. Elites try to influence the masses with ideology iv. Good of Ideology 1. Allows groups to mobilize politically through shared visions 2. Easy answers: helps make sense of our political world v. Bad of Ideology 1. Limits critical thinking 2. Constrains possible solutions 3. Easy answers not always best 4. Closed system of thought c. 1/23/17 i. Attitudes and ideas 1. Individual vs Group 2. Human equality a. Also individual vs group ii. Modern Ideologies (left to right on spectrum) 1. Communism: all “equal” 2. Democratic Socialism: takes equality more to left, workplace: democratic share in decision making, richer are taxed more. 3. Classical Liberalism: human equality. Individuals have rights and liberty. 4. Classical conservatism: born into a certain position5. Authoritarianism: we are unequal, some should rule (dictator) 6. Fascism: strength of the state a. Nationalism: above other states b. No individual rights c. Nation has a right to conquer others. iii. Disagreements over what liberty and equality mean iv. Liberal: 1. Ind. freedom in social affairs 2. Reason over tradition 3. Grouplife v. Conservative: 1. Ind. freedom in economic affairs 2. Tradition important 3. Groups keeps people in order vi. Why do we disagree? 1. Ideologies are a simplified set of ideas subject to interpretation according to interests and values. 2. We get our basic american ideology from political theories. vii. How are political theories different than ideology? 1. Political theories are written for elites 2. They are sophisticated arguments on how society should be organized. viii. Two basic divisions 1. Ancients a. Human nature idea begins with Greeks (2500 years ago) b. How are human political communities different than animal life?... REASON c. We think, morals, values, deceive d. Ultimate purpose (telos) is happiness 2. Moderns: a. Individual self-interest essential to happiness d. 1/25/17 i. Ancient ideas 1. Those with reason should rule 2. Plato (2500 years ago) a. First political theorist b. Most people cannot control desiresc. Most cannot rule d. Philosopher kings should rule 3. Aristotle a. Each person has telos to fulfill b. Human nature: people are social/political animals c. Society made up of different roles at different levels of reasoning. Some people cannot take on certain roles. ii. Modern political theorists 1. Individual happiness (self-esteem) 2. Need to figure out what human nature is before man enters into group life 3. State of nature gives us a way to figure out what’s man’s true nature is by imagining a starting point for society. Before group life/ individualism. 4. Thomas Hobbes a. Described state of nature by “life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. b. We are like animals i. Survival, food, sleep 5. John Locke a. Founder of classical liberalism b. State of nature: natural law states all are equal in rights to life, liberty, and property. c. People have moral reason and can respect rights d. Ideal gov: social contract-government protects rights.